Sunday 19 November 2017

Back-door route no problem to Red Hand

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Is that Tyrone I see at 18/1 to win the All-Ireland football title? It sure looks like decent value. They are the only one of the original top six in the first round of the qualifiers, but they have a good record on the 'back door' route, twice winning the All-Ireland (2005 and 2008) after losing in Ulster.

In fact, they came from Round 1 in 2008 and while there was a round less (Division 4 teams were excluded from the qualifiers), they negotiated the six-match route to success.

Tyrone are the only Division 1 team in Round 1, where they take on Offaly in Tullamore on Saturday as 1/14 favourites. There's every chance they will reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals, at which stage they would be the draw from hell for one of the provincial winners.

By then, the second chance safety net will be removed from everybody, so the odds will be a whole lot tighter than they currently are. For a start, Tyrone will be a long way from 18/1.

Irish Independent

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